Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. - Samuel Longhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)

Friday, October 29, 2021

Pirate Ship Build - A closer look at Sophie's Revenge

As I mentioned in the acquisition post I definitely want to do more than just paint the Sophie's Revenge. I want to add at least a small amount of rigging, do some interior detailing and put it on a base.

I think the base will be relatively straightforward. Sophie's Revenge is already a waterline model so it will just be a matter of creating a big enough base to show off a little wave action. There are probably a dozen videos on youtube describing how to do that.

I think the rigging will be relatively straightforward as well, and its perfectly acceptable to have sails still furled when the ship is underway. Leaving the main sails furled also leaves the deck cleared for action. I think it will need a lot more deck "furniture" as well, especially more belaying pin racks.

Separating the decks is the issue. The bulk of the ship was assembled at the factory and it looks like it should come apart, I just need to figure out what kind of glue was used and maybe I can find a way to dissolve it, hopefully without destroying the plastic. I need the sides to remain in place so the interior can be detailed, like cannons in place with the appropriate ropes and fastenings, gun ports that can be opened that kind of thing.

And then there are the masts. I think Reaper made the right decision by supplying abbreviated masts, anything taller would really just be in the way of using it and storing it. I was originally thinking that I would need to cut holes in the deck and extend the masts to their full length as one piece but that would make it difficult to lift the decks off to get below. Instead I just need to model the masts in the appropriate locations rather than cut through the deck.

Here are a couple of pictures just to show what the obstacles are:

Sophie's Revenge is, more or less, a galleon. This section here would be the quarters for the commissioned officers and the Captain's cabin. On top of that should be the navigation room but that section is a bit abbreviated on the Revenge. I can either leave it as is or figure out a weigh to increase the height of the navigation room and add a ceiling in the Captain's cabin. This whole section comes glued together from the factory and consists of at least 8 pieces, excluding the gun port covers.

A look at the inside of the Officer and Captain's quarters. Its pretty bulky here on the inside, which is good. There is plenty of plastic to work with. You can see the indentations for the stairs that lead up to both the quarter deck (bottom of the picture) and the poop deck (more to the top of the picture). The poop deck would be above the navigation room which in turn is above the Captain's Cabin. The large circular spot in the center is were the magnet for the mast is located. I though I would cut through the deck at this point and extend the mast down into the new hole and then do it again to go through to the gundeck. Instead I'll just model this portion of the mast. In theory the ship's wheel would be in front of this mast in the quarterdeck and the ropes to the rudder would be running through this portion of the of the commissioned officers' quarters.

A closer view of the rear cabins

This shot is looking underneath of the main deck. Here is another mast location plus some of the supports for the main deck. Again we have the issue of the gun deck walls being attached to the bottom of the main deck rather than to the gun deck itself. I would need to add more support beams and ribs and of course what ever else you would find across the center of the deck. Lots of possibilities if I can separate the walls from the deck and glue them directly to the gun deck. I counted 12 separate pieces for the this section, assuming I didn't miss anything and I'm sure I have.

Here is Sophie's Revenge straight from the box. A few small boats would be in order and the cargo loading area needs to be opened up. Probably will just cut that all out and rebuild it in either plastic or wood

With the rear cabins removed. What I want to do is just being able to remove the quarter and poop decks and leave the walls and model the mast where it would come through in that area.

Then down to the gun deck, a lot of possibilities here if I can disassemble the gundeck walls from the main deck.


  1. Very exciting project. I recently have looked into 1/700 ships and you can get pretty nuts with rigging... I assume even more so on a 1/50th scale ship!

    1. You sure can. I'm going to keep it as simple as I can since its a game piece. But still....